Thread: Cutting Hinges

  1. #1
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    Default Cutting Hinges

    Hey All,

    Last night we had an accident with entrapment. I was told to cut the hinges with the Holmatro 'o' cutters. I had always been taught that it wasn't a good idea to cut hinges because it can shear off the cutters. I proceded with the cut and had no problems I was just curious as to what the general concenus was on this operation. Obivously I encountered two different schools of thought. Thanks!

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    Cut 'em... although I am a little more cautious when cutting/breaking cast hinges...

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    Almost all cutters made in the last 7-10 years are capable of cutting hinges. You should learn the capabilities of the tools you are using when you train with them so that you aren't surprised with what they can and can't do during an actual rescue.

    If these tools are from another department, you should coordinate training with them.

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    We practice cutting hinges on our training days. (really every day should be a training day) I've not run into a car (or pickup truck) yet that we can not cut the hinges, even with our 15 year old Hurst cutters on the rescue. We have found that in a lot of cases it's quicker to cut the hinges than to try to spread the door at the Nader bolt.

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    Cutting the hinges is fast, easy (with most cutters) and safer. The door doesn't "pop" when the hinges are cut vs being forced appart with the spreaders.

    happy cutting

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    I had never heard of anyone saying to NOT cut hinges with a power cutter. First time for everything, I guess.

    There are however, several considerations when doing this that you might want to make sure your personnel are aware of.

    1) Keep the bottom of the door clear of hoses, cables, cords, feet, etc. Cutting can cause the weight of the door to suddenly drop to the ground like a guillotine. Be clear!

    2) Make sure the member doing the cutting positions their body outside of tool; not between the tool and the edge of the car. If the tool shifts, you are better being on the outside than in a pinch zone.

    3) If you encounter large, C-shaped metal hinges and you are using a small cutter or one that is an older model, it might not have enough power to cut through both the top leaf of the hinge and the bottom leaf of the same hinge at the same time. To increase your chances of success with these big old c-hinges, cut the top leaf first then cut the bottom leaf. It means you make two cuts on just the one hinge but your success rate will be high if you do it this way.

    4) Remember the umbilical cord. You not only have to deal with two hinges but you also need to either cut the umbilical cord or pull hard enough that it comes off the car cleanly.
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
    www.universityofextrication.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by ADSNWFLD View Post
    Cutting the hinges is fast, easy (with most cutters) and safer. The door doesn't "pop" when the hinges are cut vs being forced appart with the spreaders.

    happy cutting

    + 1 Go ahead and cut those hinges, but don't tip load. You should be ok.

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